Sylvia with PID, its a GREAT match, NOT a bad disease.... grin
Positive Product Points
Rancillio's Sylvia delivers a great cup of espresso. Silvia's sleek polished stainless steel exterior are attractive in our kitchen. The machine is rock solid and is pretty much bullet proof in terms of how long it should last. This is a no frills machine, a good thing since frills tend to break first.
Negative Product Points
Syliva has a cheap thermostat that is a problem. The thermostat has a large swing in temperature. A PID kit is the answer.
We have used it daily for over three yeas. Initially the only setup issue was getting the grind right. Nice shots came after that. However we really didn't get the full benefit until I installed a PID kit. By way of background, the original thermostat broke approximately one year ago. I found a replacement thermostat for around 10 dollars and installed it. This gave me the opportunity to observe the innards the machine. After another year, and after reading the praises of a PID kit. I treated myself to a PID kit based on the Watlow S3DC from PIDkits.com. The kit cost approximately $230.00 (refurbished S3DC) rather than the normal $280. price. It came with highly detailed and easy to understand instructions. In no time I had the back and top of Miss Sylvia off and was wiring like a fiend. Believe me when I tell you that I am not an engineer but the installation was still extremely easy. I accomplished it in a leisurely 4 hour session on a Sunday afternoon.
The PID has resulted in consistent great shots. I look forward to my double each and every morning with my local newspaper. The PID is a great addition to a great espresso machine. With Miss Sylvia, a Rocky grinder and PID you will have great espresso and save bazillion on over the counter stuff.
I purchased Sylvia and Rocky as a combination package on EBay. That transaction was so uneventful that I cannot remember any details.... I paid my money and got the products. Regarding the PID device, I had a great experience. The owner even called me a week after I had it up and running to check on how I had done with the project and if I had any questions. PIDKits.COM is simply the best. I wouldn't have a single boiler espresso machine without a PID after my experience with Miss Sylvia.